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  • Author: Marc J. Weigensberg x
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Noé C. Crespo, Geoff D.C. Ball, Gabriel Q. Shaibi, Martha L. Cruz, Marc J. Weigensberg and Michael I. Goran

Acculturation has been implicated to be associated with physical activity (PA) behaviors in adults; little is known, however, with respect to the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to determine whether cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max) and/or PA were associated with acculturation status in overweight Hispanic children. In a sample of 144 children 8–13 years old, acculturation status was determined by place of birth: foreign born (n = 17), 1st generation (n = 101), or 2nd/3rd generation (n = 26), and by questionnaire: less assimilated (n = 76) or more assimilated (n = 34). VO2max was measured using a treadmill protocol, PA was assessed by questionnaire, and body composition by DEXA. ANOVA and ANCOVA were used to determine unadjusted and adjusted group differences, respectively. After adjusting for covariates, the 2nd/3rd generation group had significantly higher VO2max compared with the 1st generation group: 2.26 ± 0.20 L/min vs. 2.15 ± 0.19 L/min, p = .03. No differences were noted for PA, however. Acculturation to the U.S. is associated with higher VO2max in overweight Hispanic children. Longitudinal analyses are needed to determine whether these fitness differences confer protective health effects in this at-risk population.

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Ya-Wen Hsu, Chih-Ping Chou, Britni R. Belcher, Selena T. Nguyen-Rodriguez, Marc J. Weigensberg, Arianna D. McClain and Donna Spruijt-Metz

While most studies have focused on investigating the preventive effects of physical activity on metabolic risk, the longitudinal impacts of metabolic syndrome (MetS) on activity levels is poorly understood. This study aims to examine the influence of MetS on initial activity levels and the trajectory of activity levels in Latina and African American female children over 12 months (n = 55, 9 ± 1 years). Metabolic measures, including fat and lean tissue mass by BodPod, fasting glucose, lipids, blood pressure, and waist circumference, were collected at baseline. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior by accelerometry were collected on a quarterly basis. There were no significant differences in either initial activity levels by MetS status (Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity: 33 ± 12 mins/day for MetS, 48 ± 28 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .12; sedentary behavior: 408 ± 57 mins/day for MetS, 421 ± 72 mins/day for Non-MetS, p = .67). Longitudinal declines in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .038) and increases in sedentary behavior (p = .003) were found. Daily sedentary behavior increased by 82.64 more minutes in youth with MetS than in those without over one year (p = .015). This study yields the first evidence of the adverse effect of MetS on sedentary behavior. Targeted intervention strategies to reduce progressive sedentariness evident in minority youth with MetS are warranted.